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Governing the Firm

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  • Dow,Gregory K.

Abstract

Most large firms are controlled by shareholders, who choose the board of directors and can replace the firm's management. In rare instances, however, control over the firm rests with the workforce. Many explanations for the rarity of workers' control have been offered, but there have been few attempts to assess these hypotheses in a systematic way. This book draws upon economic theory, statistical evidence, and case studies to frame an explanation. The fundamental idea is that labor is inalienable, while capital can be freely transferred from one person to another. This implies that worker-controlled firms typically face financing problems, encounter collective choice dilemmas, and have difficulty creating markets for control positions within the firm. Together these factors can account for much of what is known about the incidence, behavior, and design of worker-controlled firms. A policy proposal to encourage employee buyouts is developed in the concluding chapter.

Suggested Citation

  • Dow,Gregory K., 2003. "Governing the Firm," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818537.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521818537
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    Cited by:

    1. Ornella Maietta & Vania Sena, 2008. "Is competition really bad news for cooperatives? Some empirical evidence for Italian producers’ cooperatives," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 221-233, June.
    2. Gabriel Burdín & Andrés Dean, 2009. "Las decisiones de empleo y salarios de cooperativas de trabajo y empresas capitalistas : evidencia para Uruguay en base a datos de panel," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 09-02, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    3. I. Kalamani, 2006. "Understanding ‘Crises’ in a Traditional Industry: Case of Coir in Kerala," Working Papers id:450, eSocialSciences.
    4. Arando, Saioa & Gago, Monica & Jones, Derek C. & Kato, Takao, 2011. "Efficiency in Employee-Owned Enterprises: An Econometric Case Study of Mondragon," IZA Discussion Papers 5711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Stefan Grosse & Louis Putterman & Bettina Rockenbach, 2007. "Monitoring In Teams: A Model and Experiment on the Central Monitor Hypothesis," Working Papers 2007-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    6. Erkan Gürpinar, 2013. "Notes on Institutional Complementarities and Organizational Forms," Department of Economics University of Siena 678, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    7. Millán Díaz-Foncea & Carmen Marcuello, 2015. "Spatial patterns in new firm formation: are cooperatives different?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 171-187, January.
    8. Gabriel Burdin, 2012. "Does workers’ control affect firm survival? Evidence from Uruguay," Department of Economics University of Siena 641, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    9. Cecilia NAVARRA, 2016. "Employment Stabilization Inside Firms: An Empirical Investigation Of Worker Cooperatives," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(4), pages 563-585, December.
    10. Ermanno C. Tortia, 2011. "The firm as a common. The case of accumulation and use of common resources in mutual benefit organizations," Department of Economics Working Papers 1112, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    11. Gregory K. Dow & Gilbert L. Skillman, 2007. "Collective Choice and Control Rights in Firms," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 107-125, February.
    12. Burdín, Gabriel, 2013. "Are Worker-Managed Firms Really More Likely to Fail?," IZA Discussion Papers 7412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Clive Beed & Cara Beed, 2012. "A Biblical basis for localization," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(10), pages 802-817, August.
    14. Nicolò Bellanca & Stefani Innocenti, 2013. "Not-dividing the Indivisible: Formation of the Sacred and Antagonistic Conflicts," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_10.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    15. Brent Hueth & Philippe Marcoul & Roger G. Ginder, 2004. "Cooperative Formation and Financial Contracting in Agricultural Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 03-wp349, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    16. Cecilia Navarra & Ermanno Tortia, 2014. "Employer Moral Hazard, Wage Rigidity, and Worker Cooperatives: A Theoretical Appraisal," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 707-726.
    17. Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse & Richard B. Freeman, 2010. "Epilogue (and Prologue)," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 377-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Guillermo Alves & Gabriel Burdin & Paula Carrasco & Andrés Dean & Andrés Rius, 2012. "Empleo, remuneraciones e inversión en cooperativas de trabajadores y empresas convencionales: nueva evidencia para Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 12-14, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    19. Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi & Rhokeun Park, 2010. "Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 41-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Richard B. Freeman & Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse, 2010. "Introduction to "Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options"," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 1-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. albanese, marina & navarra, cecilia & Tortia, Ermanno, 2013. "Employer’s moral hazard and wage rigidity," MPRA Paper 46343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Louis Putterman, 2006. "Labor-Managed Firms," Working Papers 2006-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    23. Hueth, Brent & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "The Cooperative Firm as Monitored Credit," Staff Paper Series 508, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    24. Cecilia Navarra, 2013. "How do worker cooperatives stabilize employment? The role of profit reinvestment into locked assets," Working Papers 1307, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    25. Francesca Gagliardi, 2009. "Financial development and the growth of cooperative firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 439-464, April.

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